Ecosystems: Magnetic Pendulum

Eli Whitney Museum

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For School Groups


All creatures live in a web of resources that support or suppress their growth. Create a dynamic model of an insect’s or bird’s world. Suspend a magnetized creature on a pendulum. Add food and shelter (with magnets) that attract the creature and predators and hazards that repel it. The creature navigates a complex and fascinating path.

Meets Connecticut Science Standards

  • 3.2: Organisms can survive and reproduce only in environments that meet their basic needs.
  • 4.2: All organisms depend on the living and non-living features of the environment for survival.
  • 4.4: Electrical and magnetic energy can be transferred and transformed.

Meets Next Generation Science Standards

  • 2-LS2 : Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics. LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems. Plants depend on water and light to grow. (2-LS2-1). Plants depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds around. (2-LS2-2)
  • K-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity KESS3-1: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.. KESS3-2: Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather. ETS1.A : Asking questions, making observations, gathering information are helpful in thinking about problems.

For Families

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